02.05.2014 - Unesco Montevideo Office

UNESCO Montevideo’s World Press Freedom Day, 2014, triple event celebration!

Regional: The Latin American Media, Regulation and Convergence Observatory (OBSERVACOM): an online debate on Media for a Better Future: shaping the post 2015 Development Agenda. Montevideo: A debate on the best practices when covering elections. Paraguay: Access to Public Information from a Comparative International Perspective

UNESCO Montevideo, in collaboration with a number of relevant stakeholders, attempting to move the region forward on issues related to freedom of expression, and in conjunction with this year’s World Press Freedom Day Celebration has planned a triple event celebration!

May 3rd was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.

The theme of this year’s global event, to be held on the 5th and 6th May at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris is Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post 2015-Development Agenda. For UNESCO, freedom of expression and its corollary of press freedom and freedom of information are both fundamental rights as well as enablers of many goals relevant to the post-2015 Development Agenda. These include good governance, transparency and access to information, empowerment of women and youth, ending poverty, and ensuring stable and peaceful societies.

Throughout the entire month of May and as part of the UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day Celebration, the Latin American Media, Regulation and Convergence Observatory (OBSERVACOM) has organised a series debates around the topic of freedom of expression. The intention of holding these debates is for relevant stakeholders to share recommendations and ideas on what should be Latin America’s themes and goals for the post 2015 Development Agenda.

Over 100 experts will participate in these online discussions throughout the month, joining OBSERVACOM from a number of the regions universities, academic research centres, civic society organisations where they will to debate on how to push the agenda forward within region.

As part of the online events there will be a videoconference with leading experts from international organisations such as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Opinion, Frank La Rue, the Organisation of American States Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Catalina Botero, UNESCO Montevideo, Communication and Information Adviser, Guilherme Canela as well as other specialists from the field including Alfonso Gumucio, Eduardo Bertoni, Sergio Jellinek, Hugo Aguirre, Rosa María Alfaro, Eleonora Rabinovich and Bruce Girard among others.

On Monday 5th May, UNESCO Montevideo, the Centre for Archives and Access to Public Information (CAinfo), the Uruguayan Press Association (APU) and the Coalition for Democratic Communication as part of this year’s World Day Press Freedom Celebration have organized a day to debate and analyse the role of the press when covering election.

Throughout the whole of 2014 eight countries in Latin America will have held presidential elections; forming new governments. Covering election campaigns have always been a major challenge for professional journalists and communication workers who act as mediators between the public and the political candidates.

Inspired by the regions election packed year and the themes of this years world press freedom day the three organisations have planned a day of activities to discuss the best practices when covering elections.

These planned activities will involve the participation of national and international experts in journalism, freedom of expression, children and adolescences rights as well as Brazilian journalist José Roberto de Toledo, the president of the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI) and other experts in covering election campaigns.

Last but not least, on May 7th UNESCO Montevideo with the support from the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay have decided to hold an event that will focus on Access to Public Information from a Comparative International Perspective.

In October 2013, the Paraguayan Supreme Court of Justice took a decision, in line with international standards, to protect the right to access to information. The decision by the court triggered a healthy discussion about freedom of information within the Paraguayan society.

The celebration in Paraguay will focus on its Transparency and Access to Information Draft Law and the government’s attempts to move the country forward on these issues. This event will nicely compliment the main celebration that will highlight Good governance and transparency and access to information as well focus on three inter-related themes: media’s importance in development; safety of journalists and the rule of law; and the sustainability and integrity of journalism.

Please join us to celebrate this year´s World Press Freedom Day:

Online: observacom.org

Montevideo, Uruguay: The event will take place: 5th May in Uruguayan Press Association Headquarters: San Jose 1330 (basement) from 9am.

Asuncion, Paraguay: The event will take place: 7th May 2014, at the Paraguayan Supreme Court of Justice, Auditorium located on the first floor of the south tower.

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